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Can Dogs Get Jealous? | Pupford

August 1st, 2023

Filed under Pet Parenting

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It's no secret that your doggo can experience emotions like happiness, excitement, and sadness, but what about jealousy?

It appears that humans are not the only species to experience jealousy and the emotion of unfairness.

A study by the University of California San Diego has shed some light on the fact that dogs can also feel these emotions.

During the study, humans interacted with three separate objects in front of their doggos: a book, a plastic jack-o-lantern, and a realistic-looking stuffed dog that moved and made a sound. When the human paid attention to the fake dog, the dogs displayed behaviors like trying to touch their parent or the stuffed doggo, trying to get in between the two, barking, biting, and whining.

These behaviors were more prominent than those displayed toward other objects--suggesting that dogs may be jealous of fake dogs! If you're interested in this study or its conclusions, please check out BBC.

The researchers took these behaviors to mean that dogs experience jealousy, but is that what's really happening? In fact, this study may have revealed more about human behavior and how it affects our beloved canine companions. So, we break it down even further for you.


It's natural for us to feel jealous when our loved ones pay attention to someone else or don't give us the attention we're used to receiving. And, while it may seem like our canine counterparts experience the same emotions, their jealousy is more likely to stem from the strong bond they've developed with us and their desire to keep us close.


dogs can get jealous of other dogs

When we demonstrate affection towards another pup, our furry friends may feel a sense of unfairness or betrayal. However, rather than becoming aggressive, they'll be more likely to display a range of emotions, such as whining, growling, barking, and pushing.

If your pup has difficulties interacting with other dogs, try rewarding them with a treat for showing calm behavior and refraining from showing affection towards the other pup. This will help to teach them to be more compliant and help them to focus their attention on you.


Bringing a new pup into your home can be a daunting experience, but with the right preparation, you and your dog can make a smooth transition. Your dog will likely become jealous of the new puppy, so it is crucial to maintain your relationship with them and give them their space.

If you're still concerned, introducing your dog to the new puppy on neutral ground first can be a great way to show your dog that you will interact with both of them and make the introductions slowly.


Similarly, if someone is constantly coming into your home, your dog may become jealous of them. Be sure to include your dog when you're around this person and avoid leaving them unattended until they have fully adjusted and accepted the split of attention.


dogs can get jealous of babies

Lastly, when it comes to a new baby, it's essential to let your dog get familiar with the smell of the baby by allowing them to sniff their clothes or toys. With the right preparation, your dog can develop a strong bond with your child and be very protective of them.

Related Reading: How to Introduce a Dog to a Baby


It can be complicated to tell if your dog is feeling jealous. While it is not certain that dogs and humans experience jealousy the same way, specific actions could indicate your pup is envious. These can include:

  1. Aggression in the form of growling, lunging, biting, and sometimes attacking
  2. Pushy behavior
  3. Going to the bathroom inside
  4. Growling without cause
  5. Excessive barking
  6. Destructive behavior
  7. Overgrooming
  8. Crowding your space
  9. Bouts of depression
  10. Doing tricks/trying to impress

These behaviors can be intimidating to others and can cause problems in relationships.


common cause of dog jealousy in dogs is not getting enough attention

It's normal for dogs to feel jealous at times, and there can be a variety of reasons why. Let's look at the most common causes of jealousy in dogs:

  1. Change in Routine- If your routine changes, your furry friend may feel like they're not getting enough attention or that they're being abandoned. To avoid this, stick to a regular schedule with your pup.
  2. Incompatible Attention- Your dog may become jealous if they feel like they're not getting enough attention from you due to someone else petting them or taking them for walks.
  3. Not Enough Exercise and Attention- Dogs who don't get enough exercise or attention can become jealous and act out. So give your pup enough time and energy to ensure your dog doesn't feel neglected.
  4. New Pets- Your dog may become jealous if you bring a new pet into the house. To avoid this, spend quality time with all your pets to ensure they all feel loved.
  5. New People or Babies in Their Home- Introducing new people or a baby in the house can draw attention away from your pup, making them feel jealous. To avoid this, spend plenty of time with them, so they know they're still loved.

Related Reading: Why Dogs Like Being Pet + Where to Pet a Dog


one way you can help your jealous dog is through more training

If your dog shows signs of jealousy, you can try to help them adjust to the environment in the following ways:

  • Train Regularly With Them

Providing your dog with regular training and exercise can help them feel more comfortable and secure. Even if it's just a few 5-minute sessions a day, this can help them to feel more content and less jealous.

  • Set Up A Good Routine

Dogs are creatures of habit, so having a consistent routine is important. If the new addition to your home has disrupted their routine, try to establish a new one with activities that your dog loves to do. This can help them to feel like they're still following their old routine and will result in better behavior.

  • Develop Familiarity with Object of Jealousy

Taking your dog on short trips to the homes of the people they're jealous of, and introducing them to other people, can help them to feel more comfortable and reduce the amount of jealousy they're displaying. But be sure to exercise caution here. You don't want to push your dog too much. If needed, contact a behaviorist or trainer for additional one-on-one help.

It can be difficult when a beloved pet feels jealous of new additions to the family. However, it's important to remember that this behavior usually comes from a feeling of insecurity. Therefore, making your pet feel secure in its new environment is important to ensure everyone feels comfortable. Additionally, don't be afraid to seek help from a professional if needed, so you and your pet can happily adjust to your growing family.

Let us know in the comments if you have a jealous pup and what you have done to help them!


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